[Wittrs] Strawson on Experience and Experiencers

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 13:32:41 -0500

gabuddabout wrote:

>... any possible theory of consciousness is going to appear to be yet
>another case of consceptual dualism.

>Once you got your explanation, you still have two categories in the
>real world: Those things which have minds (sufficient causal processes
>which allow ontological subjectivity while being merely physical
>processes) and those things that don't.

I agree that a successful theory of experience will still leave us with
the dualism of experiencing and non-experiencing; and, perhaps, other
dualisms as well (eg. the dualism between experiencing with and without
reflexive self-awareness or 'self-experiencing').

>And the debate can go on forever. Or we can see limits to the debate by
>understanding what we mean. Then we need a theory of meaning. But
>Wittgenstein railed against philosophy toying with theories.

>But once you have speech acts, it is actually encumbent upon a
>philosopher to come up with a bare-bones sketch of how speech acts are
>part of the real world. This eventually is supposed to lead to a
>biological account of how the brain causes consciousness for Searle and
>he mentions that this is where he probably parts company with
>Wittgenstein, what with his theoretical account about why it is
>senseless to come up with theories if one is merely describing language

it seems to me that we need to clarify the purpose of clarifying the use
of language in the Wittgensteinian sense. let's say that some analysis
of a particular language game dissolves a knot that currently puzzles
philosophers. do we expect that philosophers will cease their inquiry?

let's say that they do in some cases. for example, they might cease to
speculate as to what might be happening in a parallel zombie universe;
and, we'd all be better off for it.

however, this outcome seems unlikely to occur with respect to the
science and philosophy of experience. why would we cease trying to
understand the relation between brain and experience just because we
dissolve a linguistic puzzle that has limited the progress to date?



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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